Eugenie Bouchard declines Fed Cup invite vs. Czech Republic
Robillard-Millette takes spot on Canada's 4-player tennis team
Eugenie Bouchard will not play for Canada in this week's Fed Cup tie against the Czech Republic at Laval University.
The decision was announced Monday in a Tennis Canada release. Prospect Charlotte Robillard-Millette of Blainville, Que., will fill the final roster spot after the world's seventh-ranked player decided she would not compete in the first-round tie.
"Of course we are disappointed that Genie is unable to be available for this tie and we know her fans in Quebec City will be disappointed as well," Tennis Canada president Kelly Murumets said in a statement. "However, Genie wants to be the best in the world and win Grand Slams and she needs to make the right decisions for her schedule and her training to give her the best opportunity to achieve that."
In a Tennis Canada news release, captain Sylvain Bruneau said Robillard-Millette is one of the country's most promising junior players.
“With this opportunity arising to give a young player the chance to experience Fed Cup, we thought that Charlotte could benefit greatly from being part of the team and seeing the type of preparation that goes into playing for Canada and being part of this important competition," said Bruneau.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ausopen?src=hash">#ausopen</a> Jr QFist Charlotte Robillard-Millette will complete the Canadian <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FedCup?src=hash">#FedCup</a> team -> <a href="http://t.co/XAMhe7t1tK">http://t.co/XAMhe7t1tK</a> <a href="http://t.co/xD17g9EN2S">pic.twitter.com/xD17g9EN2S</a>—@Tennis_Canada
Bouchard, the world No. 7 from Westmount, Que., reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last week before losing to Russia's Maria Sharapova.
After the match, Bouchard said she hadn't made a decision on the Fed Cup, adding she planned to visit with family and take some time off to rest.
Tennis Canada named three members of its Fed Cup team last week but left the remaining spot open as it waited for Bouchard's decision. The association had until Friday to finalize its roster.
Bouchard's absence leaves little star power in the best-of-five series. The Czechs will be without their top two players, as world No. 4 Petra Kvitova and No. 15 Lucie Safarova are not on their team roster.
Bouchard won all four of her matches last year to help Canada reach the elite World Group I for the first time.
Bouchard's agent informed Murumets of the decision, Bruneau said.
Bouchard was not available for comment. A message left with her agent was not immediately returned.
The top-ranked Czechs will be heavy favourites against the eighth-ranked host side. The Czech roster includes 22nd-ranked Karolina Pliskova, Tereza Smitkova (No. 62), Denisa Allertova (No. 91), and Lucie Hradecka (No. 122).
Fichman is the top-ranked Canadian for the tie at No. 135. Dabrowski is next at No. 185 while Abanda holds the No. 230 position. Robillard-Millette is No. 57 on the ITF junior rankings list and No. 814 on the WTA list.
Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., was on the Canadian team last year but she's still recovering from shoulder surgery.
The Czechs have been crowned Fed Cup champions three of the last four years.